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InTech managers

INTECH Financial Services has added two new managers to its operation, Marathon and Marvin & Palmer Associates. Marathon will act as the new value-orientated manager while Marvin & Palmer Associates has been appointed as a new growth orientated manager. In addition, Fidelity’s role has been terminated.

Marathon is a London-based company with $15 billion in funds under management worldwide. Marvin & Palmer is based in Delaware in the US and has more than $10 billion in funds under management worldwide.

Peterson to vanEyk

RESEARCH group van Eyk Research has appointed John Peterson as its new head of asset consulting, replacing Rob Prugue. Mr Peterson joins van Eyk from Peterson Research Institute Ltd, an organisation he founded five years ago, to offer consultancy advice to the financial services industry. Mr Peterson also spent a period with Bankers Trust and Commonwealth Financial Services.

Panel advise caution

INVESTOR caution was the order of the day at a recent quarterly meeting of chief investment officers in managed funds.

The Morningstar expert asset allocation panel is chaired by consultant Donal Curtin and includes heads from AMP Henderson, JB Were Investment Management, Merrill Lynch Investment Managers, HP Consulting, ING and BT Financial Group. The panel opted for a more conservative stance over the next 12 months, overweighting cash and property at the expense of equities. However, the panel still preferred equities to bonds on a relative value basis and endorsed a move toward greater domestic allocation.

PWC releases book

A NEW book has been released to advise corporations on ways to deal with the changing climate of corporate governance and the increasing demands placed on business executives. Samuel DiPiazza, the CEO of PricewaterhouseCoopers, teamed up with Robert Eccles, president of Advisory Capital Partners to produce the title Building Public Trust, the future of Corporate Reporting. The book was published by John Wiley & Sons in response to a number of high-profile corporate collapses. The authors propose a three-tier model of corporate transparency that draws on best thinking and practices worldwide.

Funds underperform

THE Australian Prudential Regulation Authority is conducting a review of retail super funds after it reported that they had consistently under-performed other funds. APRA found that returns ranged from corporate funds with an average net return of 6.96 per cent to retail funds with an average net return of 4.51 per cent per annum.

Conversely, retail funds were also the least volatile, while corporate funds had the highest volatility.

APRA says that, given their apparent low risk, retail funds should have underperformed in the good investment years from 1996-2000, and outperformed other sectors in the less rewarding 2001-02 years.

“The fact that retail funds have underperformed in each year is an area for future APRA research,” APRA says.

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